Benelux Family Legacy: Alain and François Trésignies | Article
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story continues our series Benelux Family Legacy, which features multigenerational stories from U.S. Army Garrison Benelux and tenant unit partners. This series explores the people who comprise the garrison and delves into the legacy they have created in the Benelux.]
CHIÈVRES AIR BASE, Belgium – “Look at this painting: I worked on it! And look at those marks on the ground: those marks are mine!
Ten years after the end of his adventure at the Chièvres air base, Alain Trésignies returns with lots of memories in mind. The Public Works Department workshop is like a second home for him.
From March 1977 to July 2011, Alain worked for the US Army Garrison Benelux, mostly as a sheet metal worker at Chièvres Air Base, for what became DPW.
“Philippe Poriau was doing his military service, so I replaced him in 1977,” says Alain. “When Philippe Poriau returned, I continued to work on a temporary basis until September 1979. I worked for 4 months for Brugelette Sucrerie, then I returned to the base as a mobile machinery operator for DPW. In 1980, I landed a last contract as a sheet metal worker and I didn’t leave until July 2011.”
Alain still has many stories to tell about his journey at Chièvres Air Base. Today, he listens to the stories of his son, François Trésignies. Since 2019, François has been working for DPW, in the same place and in the same position as his father. And these are not the only similarities.
“I work with Michaël Lemager, who previously worked with my father, specifies François. “Also, I replaced Philippe Poriau (retired) as my father.”
The story could be summed up like this, but Alain and François are not the only two members of the family who have a history with the US Army Garrison Benelux and the partners of the tenant units.
“The first person who worked for the US Army Garrison Benelux was my father-in-law René Deleenher,” Alain said. “He had already worked for the US Army Garrison Benelux since 1967 at the mutual aid store. Ten years later, he helped me get into the organization.
After René Deleenher, eight people from the same family, including Alain Trésignies, followed the same path.
“There was Fernand Godrie, René Deleenher’s brother-in-law; Franz Bossart, son-in-law of René Deleenher; Roger Ribeaucourt, nephew of René Deleenher; Christian Thyssen, son-in-law of René Deleenher; and Ginette Deleenher, my wife and René Deleenher’s daughter,” said Alain. “We can also add Yves Dubois. He was my godfather. »
Today, François and his cousin Grégory Van Derstichelen perpetuate the heritage.
“Working here is no coincidence for me,” said François. “I am where my mother and father worked before me. We all worked in Hangar 6! When I was 7 years old, I came to the base during the holidays to see my father working. Then, during my studies, I worked with my father as a volunteer. My first experience as a sheet metal worker was here. I learned the trade here.
“My mother died in 2011, continues François. “When I go to the office where she worked, or when I work in the same workshop as my father, I always feel something special.”
After all these years, Alain and François have many stories to tell.
“During the holidays, I had a one-month pass because I always wanted to come to the base to see my parents,” says François. “I remember one day a sergeant gave his cap to my father who gave it to me. I was so proud. I still have it.”
“I could say so many things,” Alain said. “For example, I am proud to have participated in the construction of the bell tower. Today, many things have changed, and it is no longer the same way of working. I often talk about it with François.
François likes his job in the Army, and he appreciates the atmosphere.
“When I was a kid, I was impressed to come here,” he said. “Today, I’m still very impressed and happy to work for the Army. I am where I wanted to be.”
Fifty-five years ago, René Deleenher wrote the first pages of a book that will probably have many more chapters.
“My grandfather and my father worked here,” says François. “My son has already come to the base, like me with my father when I was a child. Maybe one day my son will be like me. We’ll see.”
This series, Benelux Family Legacy, will continue to explore the many stories and experiences of the people who make up U.S. Army Garrison Benelux and its tenant organizations. More stories like this about the legacy created by the Garrison’s multi-generational workforce will continue to be published every Wednesday for a few more weeks.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Patrick and Charles Delmotte”.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Jan and Patrick Maessen”.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Liz Schuster, Nicole Shoaf”.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Patricia Campo, Alessandro Ricci”.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Charlie and Patsy Herbaut”.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Leon and Michael Lee”.
Read “Benelux Family Legacy: Laurette Mauro, Philippe and Leslie Duquenne”.